mrtns blog


a real human being writing about infosec, coding and other stuff. maybe.

View My GitHub Profile

book review: the attention merchants

22 Jan 2019 - mrtn

the attention merchants by tim wu, the author of the master switch, is an in-depth analysis of the current state of the market for the users attention. a market that is unknown by big parts of the population. as in the master switch, he starts from the beginning, telling the stories of the first snake-oil sellers and how their methods and sales techniques transformed over the time. and yes, snake-oil was meant literally. How and why? Find out in the book!

Tim Wu manages to create a enthralling narrative that takes the reader through a journey through time and space, from marketplaces where everybody shouted at people and tried to gain attention - to the now, where we give our attention willingly away and feed it into platforms like facebook, instagram or twitter.

we seem to have transformed our default state of mind when zoning out to watching tv - and are now binge-watching whole tv shows over the weekend to escape from reality. we always want to see and read and know about the next big thing. the fear of missing out is so strong, that we are always drawn to our screens. swiping away hour after hour. face it: we’re addicts.

after reading through the history of the attention merchants and thinking about the current state of tech - we have to question ourselves whether or not we want to play that game.

or should we rather remove ourselves from this mad circus?